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MICHAEL KANCHER, Executive Director


sheryl sacharoffSHERYL SACHAROFF, ED.D, Director of Education


Dr. Sheryl R. Sacharoff was named Director of Education at The Steinmetz Family School of Chai at CRJ in 2009 after previously holding several other roles within the school, including touching the lives of numerous CRJ students to this day as a tutor in the b’nai mitzvah program for more than a decade. Her experience as an educator for more than 36 years has fueled her passion for helping children to become creative and critical thinkers who are self-confident and caring individuals. Previous roles she has held include educational director of a residential program for at-risk adolescents, teacher of special needs students in an inner-city public middle school, and Modern Hebrew I and II instructor at Rollins College. Sheryl has also taught in adult education at Congregation of Reform Judaism and currently in addition to her role as Director of Education is delighted to oversee CRJ’s Chai’er Learning adult education program.

Sheryl earned her Doctorate of Education from Nova Southeastern University, a Master’s Degree in Education from University of Massachusetts Boston and a Bachelor in Education from Bridgewater State College. Dr. Sacharoff is a member of the Association of Reform Jewish Educators. Her involvement in Orlando’s Jewish community includes chairing the Yom HaShoah Commemoration for the Maitland Holocaust Center, speaking at community programs, as well as being an active member of Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando’s Jewish Teen Education Network (JTEN). Through her involvement with JTEN, Sheryl has obtained two grants for teen educational programming at CRJ.

Sheryl is married to Dr. Alex Sacharoff, a Past President of CRJ, and they have two incredible sons.

JULIE BEGANI, Events and Marketing Director


Julie Begani has been in the Orlando Community for over 14 years.  As a graduate of the University of Central Florida she was very active in Central Florida Hillel which opened many doors within the Orlando Jewish Community.  She went on to work for multiple agencies in Orlando including the Jewish Federation and the Jewish Community Center.  Julie came to CRJ in 2012 as the Program Director before transitioning into her current role as the Events and Marketing Director where she focuses on marketing, membership, and fundraising for the temple.

Julie is married to Christopher and they have two sons,  Benjamin and Joseph.

BLAINE SMITH, Youth Director


Blaine's experience in Jewish youth engagement started at Congregation Kol Tikvah in south Florida, where he worked anywhere from a camp counselor to a fourth grade religious school teacher. He learned many tools on the way that he looks forward to using in the upcoming year.

Blaine grew up in Oviedo, Florida. While growing up, he was a member of Temple Shir Shalom, which is where he became a Bar Mitzvah. After he graduated from Oviedo High School, he attended Florida Atlantic University, where he studied political science. Throughout his undergraduate years, he worked at Congregation Kol Tikvah as a youth advisor and felt very passionate about it as soon as he started.

This upcoming year, Blaine is excited to keep up the growth of all of the youth groups and will bring some new creative ideas to the youth groups. When Blaine is not at CRJ, he enjoys going to the gym, playing basketball and hanging out with friends. He is a big fan of cruising, hibachi and all sports.

KAITLYN DUNN, Kids Kehillah Coordinator


Kaitlyn, born and raised in Central Florida, grew up attending the JCC in Maitland. Growing up, Kaitlyn always had a passion for education. She began teaching and growing two youth theater programs 6 years ago at the J and a private school in Longwood for children ages 2-12. After two years of growing these programs, she began working as a classroom assistant at a preschool, working with infants – age 4. She graduated from the University of Central Florida, GO KNIGHTS, earning a Bachelors Degree in Elementary Education. Kaitlyn is excited to bring her experience with theater, education, and Judaism to life in CRJ’s Early Childhood Program. It brings her such joy to foster a love for Judaism in future generations.



Clergy Assistant
(M – F 9-5pm)


Maintenance Supervisor
(M-F 8:30 – 5pm)

Fri, July 19 2019 16 Tammuz 5779